Friday, August 28, 2009

The Rewrite So Far

So, today I forced myself to start rewriting B1.1. I've been meaning to start since I posted about rewriting it, but I was am having a little trouble with the beginning. First it was the prologue. Older readers will know that B1.1 is about vampires, and everyone knows vampires are old, so there was a lot to choose from when deciding what part of the past the prologue would cover. Not only do the characters have a lot of past to choose form, but there are a lot of characters (10 vampires and 7 humans, I think). Of course, not all the characters are Super Important, so narrowing it down was pretty easy.

Anyway, the prologue is done, and looking rather nice if I do say so myself, but now the first chapter is being difficult. I had an idea, and I even did a little mental writing last night while trying to sleep (not very successful. Didn't my insomnia get the memo that I'd be rewriting a book today?), but I kinda forgot everything I came up with for that while writing the prologue. T_T

(my vampires don't actually suck blood, but I couldn't deny the kitties!)
I wonder if I should have worked on the idea for chapter 1 a little more before attempting to write it? Probably, but I often jump into projects before they're ready. *coughB15andB9cough*
I like don't hate the beginning of the chapter, it's the 539 words that follow that I hate. After the first 78 words I kinda lost track of the point. You know, the reason the characters were doing what they were doing? If you see it anywhere, please call 000-0000. ;)

I wonder if jumping between role plays on Shelfari and writing the book is part of the problem. I would focus on the book more (like I should), but I tend to lose hope after about ten minutes of staring at the page, especially when there isn't much on it. That blinky line (what's it called?) taunts me, reminding me that I'm stuck. CURSE YOU BLINKY LINE WHO'S NAME ESCAPES ME! CURSE YOOOUUU!

Anywho, that's how the book's doing so far. I've added a new word count to the right sidebar. This one is super new, and maybe lucky! I used the same kind of word count for B15 and B9, and they both failed (so did the B9 word count meter after a while). I should probably get back to work. But then, I might not be able to come up with anything else, like, ever again. Ahhhhh, quiter talk! How did that get there?! :o
I can't trust my fingers to type what I want! Maybe I should take a reading break to work through my Currently Reading pile.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In My Mailbox 9

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. None of these books were or ever will be in my mailbox, but whatever.

Borrowed
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Pub. date: May 06
"When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say."

Firestorm by David Klass
Pub. date: September 06
"Jack Danielson is in a race against time to save the oceans and the future."

I have to thank Zombie Girrrl for these. I'm going through a bit of a book drought right now, I haven't been able to find anything at the library since early July, so she picked these out for me. Thanks, ZG! ^_^

I thought about doing this as a vlog (I just got a shiny new camera, I feel like I should be vlogging more), I even tried filming it a few times, but it didn't work out. I guess I'll try again another time, maybe when I have more books. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Eleni Has 200 Followers...

And she's celebrating by giving away two books! Head on over to La Femme Readers for your chance to win either an ARC Secret Society by Tom Dolby or Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, August 21, 2009

New(ish) Project

Sorry for the lack of decent posts this month. I'm a little stuck with my movie reviews (there are two or three still waiting to be written), and I'm holding onto my last book review until I finish something else. But that's not why I've only been posting about contests lately.

The reason I haven't been posting anything of interest is because I'm preparing to rewrite B1.1. Right now I'm working on some of the characters, researching things I probably should've researched before writing the first draft, and building the soundtrack (not really all that important to the story, but it's nice to listen to music related to the book while I write it... or so I imagine, seeing as I've never had a completed soundtrack before I started writing). Because of the book, I haven't had much time to read, so I haven't finished anything since August 2 (which would explain the lack of reviews).

I hadn't originally planned to totally rewrite B1.1 (I was actually considering starting B1.2 this summer), but after I finished editing I found myself unsatisfied with the quality of the book. I could just imagine all the negative reviews that would have resulted had it, by some miracle, been published. I guess I have book blogging to thank, all the reviews I've read have taught me a lot about what does and doesn't work in books. B1.1 has an abundence of the things that, according to the majority of book bloggers, don't work. Let's hope I can fix those problems without creating too many more.

While I work on the rewrites, I'll try to keep up with my reading pile and reviews. If my posts come less frequently, you'll know why. Now, I've said before that my posts will slow down due to a new writing project, and ended up being wrong. I could be wrong again, but I just thought I should warn you anyway.

I have to go research some stuff, I'll post again when I have something to post about. =)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mega Palooza Contest at Bloody Bookaholic

Taschima at Bloody Bookaholic is having a huge contest! She'll be giving away the following books to three winners.
- Signed copy of Dreaming Anastasia + Goodies
- Hardback Another Faust
- Hardback Prophecy of the Sisters
- ARC Eyes Like Stars + Backstage Pass Bracelet and some Theater-Theme Swag.
- ARC The Dark Divine
- ARC Hush Hush
- ARC Give Up The Ghost
- ARC Ash
- ARC Behind Every Illusion
- ARC Shiver
- ARC The Demon's Lexicon
- ARC Betraying Season
- ARC Any Given Doomsday
- Dead Until Dark
- Gossip Girl 1st Book
- The Black Tatto + poster
- Vampire Academy
- Frost Bite, a Vampire Academy Novel.
- Shadow Kiss, a Vampire Academy Novel.
- Blood Promise, a Vampire Academy Novel.

Go, enter the Mega Palooza!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, August 17, 2009

Contest at Lost in a Book

Lost in a Book is having a big end of summer + birthday contest. What can you win? All these books:
1. ARC of Shiver

2. ARC of How to Say Good-bye in Robot
3. ARC of As You Wish
4. ARC of Give Up the Ghost
5. ARC of Lipstick Apology
6. ARC of Devoured
7. ARC of The Sweetheart of Prosper County
8. Hardcover copy of Eyes Like Stars
9. Hardcover copy of Hannah (Daughters of the Sea)

Contest ends September 1.
Five people who say I sent them will get +5 entries! So, don't forget to mention me. ;)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mini Blog: Huge Contest at Cute Little Cindy

Cute Little Cindy is having a (like the title said) huge contest for a bunch of books, including Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Check it out here! Ends August 24, opened to US and Canada only.
Don't forget to say I referred you for extra entries. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Up

 I didn't really know what to expect from Up. Honestly, the previews were pretty vague. I really wanted to see it though, because I think I've seen every other Disney/Pixar movie, and I liked them a lot.
This movie was depressing! It starts out with Carl as a little kid when he meets Ellie. Then it skips to their wedding, happy montage, and she dies! They were going to go to South America together, but things kept getting in the way so they had to spend the money for their trip on something else, and when they're old, Carl decides they should just go and he buys the tickets, and right before he gives them to her, something happens (exactly what was a little unclear) and she ends up in the hospital and she dies. But death is a common theme in children's movies (go figure), so I should have expected something like that.
After the depressing part was over, it was a really good movie. I loved Dug the dog. He was sooo cute! And Russel was kinda funny.
It started out sad and depressing, but like many children's movies, it had a happy ending. If you haven't seen Up, I highly recommend it. But if you're easily brought to tears, I suggest you have some tissues on hand. The short before the movie was also funny and cute (I love the Pixar shorts!).

Up gets five Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber

"When Nordic ski jumper Maureen "Mo" Clark set foot in Finland, she breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, escape from her famous skier father's shadow and a chance to jump in the renowned Lahti Ski Games. But Mo quickly realizes that balancing practice and classes is more challenging than she expected. So when a gorgeous bad boy teammate offers coaching assistance-for a little publicity in return-how can she refuse? Surely she can work in a few extra practices somewhere between studying for calculus and sightseeing in Finland? Amid snowmobiling and dog-sledding, ice hotels and Northern lights, Mo begins to discover what strength and perseverance-the Finnish sisu-is all about. Now it's up to her to take that final jump and cross the finish line in style."
I got this book from the library to test out Linda Gerber's writing because I want her other book, Death by Bikini (which, sadly, my library doesn't have). Well, I succeeded in that mission and was satisfied with what I found. But I had to suffer through 205 pages of chick-lit to do it.
I'm not a big fan of chick-lit. The characters are always so frustrating because they're always making things harder for themselves by being ninnies! Mo wasn't so bad at first. She was determined to get out of her father's shadow, which I can respect but not relate to. But then a guy came in and she got all annoying. I was like, "Dude, stop being an idiot! Stop overthinking everything so much!" But I'm a big overthinker, so I really don't have a place to talk.
The story was okay. I didn't know anything about ski jumping before reading it. I had no idea women weren't allowed to jump in the Olympics. That's so annoying! A total injustice!
This book was good, but I probably won't read it again. I might read another in the series, but that's questionable. It had a good story and writing, the characters were okay, though highly frustrating. A nice light read.
The Finnish Line gets three Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Angels & Demons

I can't think of anything to say but, Angels & Demons was an action-packed thrill ride through Vatican City.

I guess I'll give it four Fists of Rock.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Friday, August 7, 2009

In My Mailbox 8

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. None of these books were or ever will be in my mailbox, but whatever.

Bought
Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson & Ned Rust
Pub. date: July 09
"All's quiet in the small town of Holliswood, the television sets a-glow in every home. But not all is as perfect as it seems.
A terrifying outlaw has just arrived in town, with the goal of throwing it into chaos—and filming the pandemonium for the fellas back home.
Only one person can stop him and his thugs from destroying the city and everyone living there. Daniel X assembles an all-star team of his own creation, but not even he could imagine the enormity of this made-for-TV-villain's powers."
I've been meaning to get this for a while, but my quest to get books by new authors sort of got in the way. I really liked The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, and from what I've read of this one, it's just as good. =)

That's all for this week.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

P.S.
That vlog I mentioned a while ago is coming. There's a little problem with the size (too big), so I can't upload it onto Blogger. I'm working to fix that now and it should be up soon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

"Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers the ship.

One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly true.
In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creats an imagined world in which the air is populated by trancontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies."

The word "thrilling" comes to mind when thinking of this book. The action was satisfying and abundant. I loved the world that Oppel created. He did an excellent job of describing the Aurora, allowing you to get to know the ship almost as well as Matt Cruse. The whole thing was a bit reminiscent of Treasure Planet, but a million times better!
Matt and Kate were great characters. Kate was my favorite. I loved how she hated the way women were treated and didn't follow the rules. After reading this I finally realized why I always struggle through books based in the past; I can't stand how many things women weren't allowed to do back then! Or what they were expected to do-- knitting, sewing, and other boring things like that. It drives me insane and makes me want to kick guys. But none of that was a problem in Airborn, because even though everyone of authority tried to hold Kate back, they never managed to do it. Yay Kate!
Matt was also a good character. Since he narrated the book, it was easy to get to know him. He was pretty smart and very in touch with the airship. I found it a little strange how he treated the Aurora like a person, but it was also a little amusing. He definitely wasn't perfect, which I really liked, because reading about a perfect character who's plans always go right isn't fun.
This book is great, I was very happy to learn that there's a sequel, Skybreaker, as well as a third book called Starclimber. Almost definitely aimed at boys, but girls would enjoy it too (I know I did). I recommend it to anyone who likes action with a side of fantasy.

Airborn gets four Fists of Rock.
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, August 3, 2009

Montage of Cake

As promised, here are the pictures of my birthday cake, as well as pics of my last two cakes (a.k.a. the best cakes I've ever made).
First, the cake from two years ago, the Barbie cake. This was the first elaborate cake I ever did, and I was rather pleased with how it turned out. The skirt was the hardest part by far. After laying down the fondant I had to spray the whole skirt, which took forever. Then came the frosting. Oh, the frosting. The music notes on the bottom were easy enough, but the designs around the middle ended up different sizes, and some were spaced wrong, and I got a hand cramp. In the end it was worth it. :)
Last year's cake will likely never be topped. The Appa cake, designed after my favorite flying bison form my all time favorite show, Avatar: the Last Airbender. It took around eight hours to make. Yes, I said 8 hours. It's four cakes tall, and each of those little stars had to be done by hand. Luckily, I had an assistant that helped with most of the carving and frosting (she also did the face, which I would have messed up had it been left in my hands). But I loved this cake! It turned out so well! It can also be seen on the Avatar fansite, Distant Horizon, under fan art.
This years cake was inspired by my favorite book (of the moment), The Hunger Games. Two cakes tall and determined to not work. The first time I stacked the cakes, the top one cracked all the way across. So, with help from my cake assistant, we took the cakes apart, leveled them out, and restacked them with the broken one on the bottom. After that, my assistant a.k.a head cake carver shaped it like I book while I watched and stressed over the size of the pages. It's hard to tell in the pic, but I used a basket-weave tip to make the pages look ridgy and... pagey. I put Effie Trinket's famous quote and my assistant put the little birdie from the cover. There's suppoed to be a ring of candles around it, but I forgot to take a picture once the candles were in and lit. T_T
I think it turned out really well. It's not as good as the Appa cake (will anythign ever be?), but I still like it. But it was very stressful to make. ;)
So, those are the cakes from my last three birthdays. I guess now would be as good a time as any to talk about what I got this year.
My parents gave me a purple Webbie HD camera!!! I squeeled and jumped when I opened it! I CAN VLOG NOW!!! WHOO-HOO!!!! I'm so excited for my first ever vlog!!! Here's what it looks like:
It's so tiny! I love it!
Well, I think that does it for this post. You've seen my overly elaborate cakes and my new camera. I'll post my first vlog soon (so excited!).
Eclectically yours,
Dahlia